18, 19, 20 & 21

November 2021

Competative and an attacker...

words that best describe Erik Dekker

Erik Dekker, Former Professional Cyclist & Tour de France Stage Winner

We are very proud to have Erik Dekker as our Ambassador. From the moment he joined our team, he has been a tremendous addition and contributed significantly to this new sporting venture.

We would like to share a fantastic conversation with Erik and hope you will enjoy reading it as much as we talked to him. Erik Dekker is a pleasant man to talk to, his lively, confident energy is contagious, and his humour sparked us all.

How it started

“At the age of eight, I got on a racing bike. And now, many years later, I still cycle a few times a week. I even participate in competitions. Why? I love to practice my favourite sport with the same passion as when I was a professional. Cycling is my passion and my life “.

“I was a talent in the youth categories. At the age of 16, I made my debut in the national junior team. The first result soon followed: a silver medal at the Junior World Championships!

Professional

My development as a rider continued steadily, and in 1992 I took a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Barcelona. After these Games, I became a professional cyclist.

However, it would take until the Tour de France in 2000 before the general public judged that I had broken through as a cyclist. Even though, I began that year, in March, with an elbow fracture thankfully, I was ready for the Tour just in time.

That year I won three stages in the Tour. On the Champs-Elysées, I was also honoured as the most combative cyclist.

Victories

2001 was the year in which I continued the successes of 2000. I achieved 2nd place in the Tour of Flanders and won the Amstel Gold Race. Then, I became the winner of the 8th stage in the Tour of that year and won the 2001 World Cup. Due to my achievements that year, I was awarded the title “Sportsman of the Year” in the Netherlands.

In 2002, I seemed to be continuing my success. That was until I fell and broke my hip in Milan-San Remo. I did, however, end up in the number one position of the World Ranking! A very memorable moment!”

Ups & downs

The recovery went well, but I have never been able to match the level of 2002. In 2004,  I still crowned myself as Dutch Champion, and in that Dutch “Red-White-Blue” jersey I remarkably won Paris-Tours. Perhaps the most spectacular victory of my career.

2006 was my last year as a cyclist. On 4th July, I fell off my bike during the Tour de France. Sadly, I never competed as a professional cyclist after that.

From the asphalt, I “rolled” into the team leaders’ position. For nine seasons, I have shared my experience and expertise with cyclists from Rabobank-Belkin and Lotto-Jumbo.

Always seek the attack

“Competitive” or “an attacker”. Those are the words that best describe me. Only a few victories I achieved with a defensive tactic. I won a total of four stages in the Tour de France and three classics. On top of that, I became a World Cup winner and Sportsman of the Year in The Netherlands. In total, I am proud to say there are 68 victories in my name on my honours list.

Always come back stronger

“During my career, I experienced several falls and injuries (I even had an exceptional talent of crashing when TV cameras were around!). It may sound crazy, but afterwards, I was grateful for every crash, because I came out stronger every time! That helped shape me as a cyclist and as a person.”

Entrepeneur

“After I stopped working as a sports director, I started my own company in 2016: erikdekker.nl. I take experiences as a top athlete and as a coach into the activities that I have been developing since 2016. A.o. with presentations and bicycle clinics, I use my background as a top athlete and coach. Just because my active career as a cyclist and sports director is now over, I hope to be a source of inspiration for others. During my career, I have come into contact with all kinds of situations that recur in the business world, so I know better than anyone what “trial and error” means.”

Passion

“My passion is and will always be cycling. Active, by regularly climbing on the bike and riding competitions. Or passive, through following cycling media and events in general. My son became a professional at Jumbo-Visma, on 1st January, so naturally, my interest has now amplified! I also feel an ever-increasing sense of pride, since my son followed in my footsteps and came out for the FC Barcelona of cycling.”

 

 

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